First Build Budget HTPC / Workstation


BUDGET RANGE: $600-$999

SYSTEM USAGE FROM MOST TO LEAST IMPORTANT: HDTV (QAM, mostly just tuning in, maybe a little recording), streaming Hulu and Netflix, multi-tasking with a multitude of internet windows open, word processing, gaming is not important but I do enjoy the occasional RTS

PARTS NOT REQUIRED: pre-ordering Win7, using my TV, no keyboard or mouse


PARTS PREFERENCES: at the moment I'm pretty much sold on an Intel CPU and microATX build, still open to suggestions though



ADDITIONAL COMMENTS: Picture a single guy living in a box and trying to mesh his TV and computing resources into one capable unit. Since my tube is just a 19" 720p, I really would prefer the small form factor of a microATX case. Other than that, aesthetics aren't important.

Here's what I have in my Newegg cart:

Intel Pentium E6300 Wolfdale 2.8GHz LGA 775 65W Dual-Core Processor
I'm going to try my hand at OCing this.

MSI G41TM-E43 LGA 775 Intel G41 HDMI Micro ATX Intel Motherboard

G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

ASUS Triton 77 92mm Vapo Bearing CPU Cooler - Retail

CORSAIR CMPSU-520HX 520W ATX12V v2.2 and EPS12V 2.91 SLI Certified CrossFire Ready 80 PLUS Certified Modular Active PFC Compatible

AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet - PCTV Tuner (A188 - White Box) MTVHDDUWB PCI-Express x1 Interface - OEM

ENCORE ENLWI-NX2 PCI Wireless Adapter

SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5"
I'd like to note here that I seriously considered using a SSD to run the OS off of, but research revealed that the Intels are the only wise option. Those Intels are well out of my price range.

SAMSUNG Black 22X DVD Burner Black SATA Model SH-S223B - OEM

nMEDIAPC Black Aluminum / Acrylic / Steel HTPC 5000B Micro ATX Media Center / HTPC Case

I just want to say that this forum is top-shelf, I can't believe there's so many kind souls willing to take the time to assist a bunch of novices in throwing their cheap boxes together. Thanks in advance.
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More about first build budget htpc workstation
  1. Since you are using onboard gfx you should look at AMD. The AMD graphic are a real step up from intels offerings

    A Regor 240 or 250 cpu combined with a 785g motherboard is stronger pretty much every where than the intel . Its also cheaper and has an upgrade path. More so if you buy an am3 motherboard that uses DDR3

    AMD Athlon II X2 240 Regor 2.8GHz $60

    MSI 785GM-E65 AM3 AMD 785G HDMI Micro ATX $75 [ after MIR ]

    A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333G $77

    If you wont ever add a gfx card you can safely trim the psu to 400 watts. Modular is a good feature for m-atx cases and that might make the HX 520 worthwhile .

    Better off with a wireless router than an add in card . Then you can have your pc off and still connect a laptop
  2. if you can afford it, here is a PII x2 550BE and gb mb that allows you good oc ability.
  3. i would rather get the athlon 620/630
  4. Daggs got it right. You can't beat that combo if it unlocks all 4 cores.
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